Millennials do not match their misconceptions

David Micali, Crier Staff

Let me be upfront, I hate using the term “millennials” to describe the people born between the early 1980s to the early 2000s. I just do not believe that all of those people should be lumped together in one demographic, because they are not similar.

People born in the early ‘80s grew up in a time of relative peace and steady economic growth throughout the 1990s. On the other hand, people born in the late ‘90s grew up during the Great Recession (2008-2012) and the War on Terror (2001-present). News reports of mass shootings and terrorist attacks seem to happen every other week. This opinion piece will focus on the millennials born in the late ‘90s.     

The term “millennials” has a negative connotation. If you type “Millennials are…” into Google, the top five results are “depressed, screwed, killing diamonds, lazy, and ruining.” Other honorable mentions include “entitled” and “lazy entitled narcissists.” I’m not kidding about that last characteristic; that is the seventh suggested option on Google if you type “Millennials are…”

I find it troubling that there is such a negative opinion of our generation, especially when I would argue that most of the labels attached to us are just not true. I will dispel some of these myths and argue that we are no different than the previous generations that look down their nose at us.

The belief that we are lazy cannot be true; otherwise we would not have been accepted to a school like Saint Anselm College. In order to succeed in college, one not only needs to do well academically, but also needs to participate in extracurricular activities that give him or her something to write about on your résumé.

Students hope to impress employers to gain experience through an internship–experience that will help them land a full time job to pay off all that student debt.

When we are not studying or getting involved in campus activities, we are performing community service. Generally speaking, millennials tend to engage more in community service and volunteering then past generations. I don’t know about you, but I would hardly say that we are slackers.

Millennials are often blamed for “killing” longstanding industries. In fact, no other generation has been accused of killing more industries than ours. From napkins to diamonds and everything in-between, we have allegedly killed a lot.

A tweet published by The Economist in June 2016, asked the internet “why aren’t millennials buying diamonds?” The tweet got replies such as “you mean, besides the crippling debt?” and “because you can’t live in a diamond or eat a diamond.” Joking aside, the responses came very close to the real reasons behind the “death” of several industries.

Millennials are not on a mission to put these industries out of business, but rather want products that are more affordable and serve more than just one purpose. For example, our generation prefers buying paper towels rather than napkins, so now we are accused of killing the napkin industry. Industries should not blame us for not buying their product when there are cheaper and better alternatives available.

It is more difficult to dispel the myths that we are entitled and narcissistic; however, I would argue that every generation wants to leave a footprint on the world. What that footprint is, I do not know. What I do know is that we have the power to change this country both politically and culturally. The future belongs to us.

But hey, what do I know? I’m just a lazy millennial.